Environmental Police Arrests Fifty People in Crackdown on Forests Destruction

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Peter Simon Okoshi who is also the Deputy Commandant Environmental Protection Police Unit led the operation leading to arrest of illegal loggers

Fifty people have been arrested during a crackdown on illegal charcoal and log dealers in Gulu and Nwoya districts.

Over 600 bags of charcoal and logs loaded on four trucks were impounded in the last three days.

The suspects were arrested by the Environmental Protection Police Unit and National Environment Management Authority-NEMA during an operation conducted in Palaro Sub County in Gulu and Arana village in Lungulu Sub County in Nwoya.

The operation that was launched in Nwoya district on the 2nd of May was led by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Peter Simon Okoshi who is also the Deputy Commandant Environmental Protection Police Unit.

Okoshi said 12 suspects were picked up from Gulu while 38 were arrested from Nwoya indiscriminately felling down trees.

The suspects were reportedly found with tools such as power saws, pangas and axes.

Okoshi revealed that the suspects will be arraigned before court and charged with illegally felling trees contrary to section 32 of the National Forestry Authority and Tree Planting Act.

Section 32 Sub Section (1) of the Act states that no person shall except for forestry purposes and in accordance with the management plans or in accordance with the licence granted under the Act not take or remove forest products.

Gulu District Forest Officer, James Ocakacon said as a deterrent the district has been charging between 10,000 to 20,000 shilling for cutting trees.